Is there a culmination of the Ukrainian conflict after a month of heavy fighting?

Episode 20
Sun, 3/24 11:05PM 1:31:38

Speakers
Samuel P.N. Cook, Yuriy Bogun, David N.Sims, Glen Grant

In this podcast, we talked about the chances of an escalation between Russia and Poland. Also understood the culmination for both sides of the conflict and forecasted scenarios of Russia’s military tactics. Listen to our 20th installment which stars retired US and British army analysts

Episode highlights:

02:01 – What's the culmination point, and have we reached it?
06:01 – Occupation progress of Russian troops. Problems. Tactics
16:53 – War situation in the east of Ukraine 24.03
25:21 – Chernobaevka: 10 times already. Why does that continue?
30:33 – New Russian conscripts are coming to the front?
34:27 – Who is going to bring Russian Conscripts to battle?
41:09 – Who commands the Russian operation?
45:02 Opinion about the chemical weapon
58:56 – Approximate conclusions of the war between Russia and Ukraine at present
1:08:50 – Сrimes of Russian soldiers and a little about Borderland

 

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Culmination point of Ukrainian war. What are the next steps of Russian army?

Samuel  0:01  

Welcome back to another episode of Borderlands stories from Ukraine. And I am back today with regular guests that we do now every Thursday, which is going through the situation on the battlefield and what is the state of play in the military. And here again  with David Sims, former retired Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Grant, retired Leftenant, colonel from the British army. And Yuri, is with the territorial defense in Ukraine.

❝ culmination point is that point at which you can say that an organization either succeeds or fails 

What's the culmination point, and have we reached it?

Glen
So it's something happens to it, that the either it either starts to go backwards or it starts to go forwards. So that the combination point in the desert the Second World War was was El Amin, when they actually got enough logistics together, to be able to push forward against Rommel without losing from that point onwards. And previous to that it was just backwards and forwards. 

So have we reached the culmination point here? Well, it is. if you look at it in terms of the first four weeks, then the answer to that will be yes. The Russians have now almost like exhausted themselves. They come here, they've done what they were. They've done what they were asked to do as best as they could, given the fact that: they weren't properly equipped. They weren't trained. They weren't given proper orders. They were left out in the cold. So they got frostbite. And now they're sort of stuck and waiting. Is it the combination point for the Ukrainian forces? Probably because they've actually started going forward for the first time. But that's if we look at this for four weeks.

Now, if we assume that Putin is going to keep the war going. And he's going to keep it for another five or six months, then no, we haven't reached the culmination point, because he's going to pour he's going to keep bringing men and equipment and ammunition and everything else into the Russian side. And the Ukrainians are going to have to keep begging the West for more ammunition for more equipment for more missiles and everything else to keep themselves going. So if this keeps going, there's going to be another culmination point when either the Ukrainians run out of missiles, ammunition and everything else, or the Russians run out of that, and people and ability to keep going. So there could be, a second culmination point, depending upon this first point. If the first point is serious, which it looks fair Serious at the moment, soon we could see the Russians collapse inside the country. Actually just stop fighting and start going backwards. I mean, they're already doing things like giving up. They're already leaving their vehicles and running away. They are already looting in Erpin and Boocha. They're filling up their vehicles with anything with fridges with, you know, any electrical appliances, coats, clothing, anything they can take back. So there's all these things that are actually going on and going absent. There's quite a lot of them just literally going up. So they're going away, into the woods, and they leave the battle. So that's what's happening to the Russians. But the trouble is with the Russians, is there just so many of them? There's the problem. There's so many of them, there's still so much equipment. So culmination point, yes, maybe. 

Occupation progress of Russian troops. Problems. Tactics

Samuel  6:01  
So that's that's the first four weeks of the war, the original offensive has definitely culminated which it seems that people are digging in. Outside of Kiev. In fact, there are a lot of Ukrainian counter-attacks, which we'll get to in a moment here. And on the eastern part of the country in the Donbass, it seems to have culminated except with the slight exception of Mariupol, which is obviously surrounded. And there's continue fighting. But there's no real clarity on how much progress Russian troops have made there. And it seems like the troops out of creativity, which is on the other side of the Dniper River, are trying to push forward, but haven't made a lot of progress. So the other thing you talked about Glenn, which was very prescient a couple of weeks ago, was that the impact of the cold. Lots of soldiers are reported in the Russian army to have had frostbite. That really affected their ability, especially in the south,

Glenn  7:13  
And they've got no medical cover. So they've obviously got nothing they can do with them. And this is other thing. A large amount with serious injuries dying, because there's no proper medical support. And because they don't care. Unlike the Ukrainians, if someone's injured, they do their absolute level-headed best to get that person to hospital as quickly as possible. If Russians leave someone for one hour in the cold and or night, so hi is dead, so it's totally different attitude between the two armies, about how they care for people.

Samuel  8:10  
Yes, there were a lot of reports that Russian soldiers don't have proper tourniquets. And there's also reports that the Chechens main role in theater is not actually to fight on the front lines, but it's to go behind the regular Russian forces to make sure that they don't retreat, because desertion and retreating is a very big problem. And also, right now, there are a lot of reports where soldiers shooting themselves in the leg borrowing Ukrainian ammunition.

Glenn  8:47  
There are 1% or 2% in units set, but it's happening. These things tend to be catching, it's like a disease, where if people actually realized it works, then more will start doing it. But it's not a huge amount at the moment, but it's when you add it to all the other things that they're doing,  then it becomes a significant part of the human capital loss from that unit.

What do you see in terms of the offensive momentum. Has it completely stalled on the Russian side?

David Simms  10:16  
It might be just be a matter of definition in linguistics. And I pulled out good combat Karl Clausewitz. Just to check, the book 7 is "The attack". Their attack as their momentum stalled? Absolutely. They haven't reached what they would define as a culminating point, because that would be success. But as to the other side, yeah, they've culminated because their resources are depleted, their morale is depleted. Their commanding and structure networks are dysfunctional at best. And they're not moving forward. And granted, always, at some point, he spears at this at the small unit level, there will always be some kind of limited offensive capability on both sides. And any conflict, right. But when we start operationally and strategically, does Russia have an offensive capability right now? Not really. What we're seeing, though, I think is a transition to a deliberate defense in most of these areas by Russia. Are they following the seven steps of engagement area development like we do in the US Army? Probably not right?

Glenn  12:09  
No, no chance!

David Simms  12:12  
It's haphazard. It's undisciplined, sectors of fire? Are integrated, indirect fires are integrated. An obstacle plan isn't integrated? Do all those things exist within this defense that Russia is starting to build? Yes. Is it synchronized and coordinating and masking effects to achieve a purpose of the defense? No. That's not happening. So when I think about purpose of it, I think about the real purpose, for us, the purpose of a defense would be the transition back to the offense

It's trading time to refill units, resupply, transition back to the offense. They're transitioning to attrition based model. And that's why we're seeing indiscriminate fire. That's their obstacle plan. That's just it's out there. It's in mass. And it's indiscriminate, on whom it's targeting. That's not really targeting Ukrainian military units. It tends to have the effect that civilians are hitting these obstacles that rushing in certain places. So they're their defenses. It's terrible. But it's a transition to an attrition based model, which is rooted in terror tactics.

Glenn  14:13  
Dave I wonder with some defense in around Erpin and Bucha whether  defense or whether it's survival. Those are not digging in for defensive battle. They're digging into stay alive.

David Simms  14:31  
Yeah. Because they're about to be cut off.

So Glen, there's really three fronts the Russian military has essentially invaded with three different commanders from each different military district. In fact, I think there might be four different commanders, military districts, and what's happened is, they're all fighting their own independent campaign. US and Ukrainian intelligence apparently cannot identify a unified commander over this war, which probably means it's at the presidential level, or the chief of staff level. That must be the only place where this is happening on a coordinated level, but those people obviously aren't on the front. They're back in Moscow, that's what we think. So in that aspect, we have the battle around Kiev, where in the Northwest troops are in danger of getting surrounded, so they're in survival mode,


 

War situation at the east of Ukraine today

Samuel  16:53  

And then east of Kiev the front lines have been pushed back at least 50 kilometers from the capital. So there's no longer any artillery that can reach might some long range rocket systems. And in the eastern side of Ukraine, they're still the most dangerous part of the battlefield for Ukraine errs. There are some persistent attacks on Ethium, which is a critical junction to hold and prevent the Ukrainian line from being enveloped from the north. And in the south of the country, we obviously have Mariupol, which is surrounded. And then the attacks towards Nikolaev and Kriviy Rih on the other side of the river. And Kiev is not going well what are you seeing and hearing Glenn from the east? 

❝ The war’s going on. He's in a tank talking to me on Facebook. 

Glenn  18:18  
I was talking to one of the journalists in Sumy. And he said it's better than survival. He said that it's going quite well. The artillery pushed back out of range in most places. And they were actually going out and attacking the artillery, so obviously a bit thorny to, to attack Sumy now. 

Kharkiv is still relatively open. People are going in and out of Kharkiv it's still being trashed nightly and daily by missiles, and I think bombs from aircraft as well. But again, supermarkets are open. They've got life there. And I've heard from some people that one or two businesses are reopening. So they're in stubborn mode, Now when you go down the side towards the old trench lines the Donbass works. Russians were trying to go south and actually cut the road. But the general stuff took a brigade out of the trench lines and pushed it North when a tank brigade, and they are actually in battle, and sort of like holding now the top of the line. I spoke to one of the guys. The war's going on. He's in a tank, and he was talking to me on Facebook. So we had a conversation about how best to fight tanks in a mobile battle because this is actually relatively new for them. And completely new for him. And never having done it before.

Glenn  20:56  
But they're holding them the line and holding the trench work. I mean, they've broken through it in a couple of places. That is where they've been piling the hardest amount of battles because if you remember that they've been stocking up in Donbass for eight years. The white lorries coming backwards and forwards there. They weren't bringing goods and chattels and nice supplies. They were bringing ammunition. They actually had a lot of ammunition, and they were reinforced. But it's gone sufficiently badly for the Russians that they are now mobilizing people up to 65.

Glenn  22:03  
But anyway, Russian in trouble on that line. And it tells me that as long as the Ukrainians hold out for another 10 days on that line, they should be alright. 

And Mariupol is a mess. Morale is still high amongst the military. But they're depressed, that morale can be high and depressed at the same time, they're depressed because they don't feel that the Ukrainian government is doing enough for them to try to relieve them, to bring ammunition, food and everything else. I'm not sure whether a humanitarian convoys got in maybe it's got into one part and not into somewhere else. But that doesn't help the Marines and Azov battalion, because their problem is just straightforward is ammunition. And they are literally having to go out and capture ammunition and tanks and things like this to continue the fight. So Mariupol hanging on. But goodness knows how long.

 

Chernobaevka: 10 times already

Why they keep doing that?

Glenn  25:25  
This is interesting. I'll tell you why. I heard this from my colleague Vlad, who's Bulgarian. They are not following a plan. They're following a script. Okay. We don't understand this because we don't follow scripts. The script takes you to the same place. Because of the Soviet mentality, because of the culture. You don't have leeway. You're not delegated to say, Hey, I'm not going there. That's stupid. You follow the script, the script says you go.

❝ Chernobaevka: Russian troops are not following a plan they follow a script. Don’t have leeway 


 

Samuel  26:18  
Apparently that airbase, the reason why the helicopters apparently keep trying to go stay there is they need to have supply convoys, which are getting ambushed, get covered. So that I guess there's some route to that stubborn.

Glenn  26:36  
We don't do that in the UK army. You know, I was a mobile for six years. And we used to refuel in fields anywhere. Yeah, field school playgrounds, car parks.

Glenn  27:25  
You see, this is the script. If it says that's where the refueling point is, then that's where they go. This is how they work. And the reason that they work like this is because they don't exercise any differently.

Samuel  28:58  
So we reached kind of a point in the military side where the Russian forces are obviously exhausted. They've culminated. And there's there are three ways out of this as I see  ultimately warms a political conflict. I mean maximalist objectives call it where Ukraine was not going to be able to exist as an independent state, maybe it's not obvious to Russian leadership, but to everyone else, that's not going to happen. And then negotiations have even started to acknowledge that at least at the lower level, whoever Putin sending or acknowledging that they have to negotiate with the Zelensky regime. But the French have come out and said they believe that the negotiations are simply a "Stalling tactic". 

Three major scenarios of Ukraine conflict.

Samuel  30:33  

There are three major possibilities. And as I see it, One, we're coming up to the next group of conscripts that need to enter the Russian army on 1st April, they have to go through training, first of all the mothers actually and babushkas or whoever is going to bring them to the recruiting station have to actually bring them and the current conscripts that are supposed to leave the army on 1st April, probably will get what we call stop loss where you can't leave. And there are all kinds of creative solutions for the Russian forces to manufacture manpower without going to a draft. So for example, there are rumors of there are reports of people who have high debts. Imagine if an American, you have a bad credit score. They're offering you to wipe out your debts because your debts are worthless anyway, with rubles. They're recruiting heavily in rural populations where people are more likely to join, offering, significant bonuses going to Syria and asking for soldiers, which the Syrian so far haven't ponied up anything. They've said no. And then the Belarus drama, The Lukashenko dance with Putin just seems to go on and on. Although Ukraine has predicted last week that Belarus would, in fact, invade Western Ukraine and try and cut the border area, which nobody thinks they'd make much progress. So it could either end after this culmination point in a negotiated settlement. But I think both sides are pretty far apart. Or it could just turn into a war of attrition. With President Putin just scraping the world for people who want to have a fight, and want to come in and be part of this conflict on his side, from the Middle East to some African countries to different parts of Russia. And I guess the third outcome could be a regime change within Russia, whether its revolution from above, the war between Putin and the FSB, seems to be heating up. I don't know if he's that happy with Shoigu in the generals, either. And there could always be a revolution from below, like 1917, where people rise up and topple the government from that. So let's talk about those three different possibilities. Glen and David

❝ If conscripts go straight to a front and would be trained in a job so dead soon. 

Who is going to bring Russian Conscripts to battle?

Glenn  34:27  

How are they going to actually get in there? What vehicles are they going to use? Who is going to command them? And what quality of commanders are they going to get? Because if they just get the normal conscript training officers, the level of quality will be extremely low. And he will not be able to do anymore. Once he's taken them out of the training organization, and I suspect he's already done that with some of them. Once he's done, that training organization is then dead. So there's no there's no future in it. So it's a short term activity. So let's assume that they bring them to a month training. Well, they're just going to get killed, aren't they? They'll have no idea about joint battle or coordination or how to work at night or anything. And if they've got the same level of equipment, which I'm sure they did, I mean, conscript battalions don't have proper equipment, they only have enough for training.

Samuel  35:42  
Well, there's plenty of abandoned equipment and casualties 

Glenn  35:48  
No,  because the farmers are taking it away for scrap metal. That's true. They're taking anything they can get hold off for scrap metal because that's money.

Samuel  35:59  
So I think the fourth-largest army in the world is the Ukrainian farmers

Glenn  36:02  
I know that is a disaster by replacements who've only been training for a month, and you don't want to be there are actually more of a liability than a benefit. They'll just die. And that's sad.

David Simms  36:29  
It's sad, but I want to jump in and talk about this. We know they have crowds conscripts, they have contracts soldiers, 60% of their army is conscript. Conscripts do not receive an initial entry training. Only the contract isn't listed. Right? So conscripts go straight to a unit. They are trained on the job.

Glenn  37:22  
This raises the question of which line unit would those boys go to? And where is that line unit? I mean if it's an urban, the boys are not going to get there.

Samuel  37:36  
Again, helicopters. Glen, it worked. It works so well. The last time in Chernobaevka...

David Simms  37:42  
And then consequently, those conscript heavy units were their officers, What kind of officers, what quality of officers they had. They don't have a real true Noncommissioned Officer Corps. They don't have a professional army in that model. So who's really training them? They're getting thrown in. And here's how you fire the thing up. Here's how you put it in gear. Here's forward, here's reverse, and do what you're told. Until you die.

Samuel  38:26  
Well, in the armor, nuts, any new replacement that's not trained on these heavy machines, they're just not going to be effective. they'll drive the vehicles off the road, the vehicles will break down, they won't be able to strip it.

David Simms  38:44  
It's already been happening for the last month.

Samuel  38:47  
Yeah. There's a possibility everyone's been talking about  we're either going to have a negotiated settlement, or a war of attrition. I think there's some option that nobody's talking about which is new concepts come in, they're gonna have to get mobilized, it's gonna take them a while to get to the front. Even if they get no training. It's not going to be on April 1, they'll show up. They need to go get inducted somehow get their uniforms. Is there a possibility, Glenn, that you think the Russian army could start collapsing at large levels on certain parts of the front? Maybe in the north? Probably in the Northeast?

Glenn  39:44  
Yes. And so I don't think it will be predictable where, because it's such a crisscross matrix of activities of food and fuel and everything else. So it's not going to be predictable. But I think there is a real chance that a large enough group will just turn around and go back the other way. And if someone tries to stop them, they'll kill them. And it only needs one sort of large enough group one battalion, to start going backwards and leaving a gap. There's a gap that the enemy is coming into, and the others will go back as well, just to preserve to save themselves. So it is a realistic possibility. I mean, one of the things that people are talking about which they've started doing is actually offering rewards for soldiers gift themselves up, and already was given himself up with a tank, he made good money $10,000. And they're talking now about raising the odds of this saying that the person can stay, and then he can bring his family.

Samuel  41:04  
That's where Ukraine always was in history, it's where Russians would run away for freedom.

Glenn  39:44  
But equally, there are going to be parts of the front that carry on fighting hard, like around Mariupol, despite they're loosing people, they still keep attacking and attacking. 

David Simms  42:02  
I'm thinking on the Russian side, initially here is, first their chain of command structure is a disaster. So effectively doing this is not going to happen. But what Russia really needs to do is to consolidate reorganize, which some of that is a withdrawal under pressure, from where their lines are far too extended, reorganize their units and then be able to redeploy, but they can't coordinate that. That's very rare read passenger lines is one of the most difficult operations you can possibly conduct. And when you are an incompetent army at the tactical level, it's not going to happen. But that's what Russia would really need to do at this point, to be able to regain any kind of momentum, other than just going to a pure war of attrition or into a negotiated settlement. I think Ukrainian units will continue to isolate small Russian units and treat them piecemeal. Because they can't,  coordinate anything on the Russian side. But that's what Russia really needs to do. They need to pull back their lines a little bit, especially over the past week. Because  there's no coordination. There's no command and control. You know, the chain of command is not understood. And I agree with you, Sam, I think Russian trying to hold control at the strategic level of tactical units, which,  will never work.

Who commands the Russian operation

Glenn  43:59  
My feeling is that they made this wonderful command center in Moscow. I just get the feeling they're trying to command it all from there.

David Simms  44:08  
Yeah, or a bunker in the Urals.

Glenn  44:11  
Russians can't hold in defensive positions what they've got now. If they go on to the defense, so they would have to consolidate somewhere and tighten the line in places and bring back some of those extended arms of soldiers that are just high risk on the routes. And, you know, they're not able to resupply them, they're not able to do anything. They're withdrawing to tighten the line. I'm not sure.


Samuel  45:02  
And it requires a political leader who accepts that advice. And if you will remember, in World War Two, Hitler was famous for, not allowing German withdraws, even when it made a huge amount of sense from an operational or tactical level to save forces, he just wouldn't allow it. And there's probably something going on in terms of ego, and pride that is interfering with what you're recommending, which is their lines are overextended, they need to consolidate, pull back, and the defensive will not work unless they swallow and do that. And there has to be a senior unified theater commander in this area To to agree to that, and you've just typed in here because he can't chat. But he's, he can't talk he type chat. The wildcard scenario here, as we all know, is chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Right. And so one scenario is negotiated settlement. The other one is a Russian collapse, which could precipitate a desperate strike with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. So then the third one is a war of attrition. In which scenario, David, Glen, or Yuri, would you anticipate? And Yuriy also said No negation no negotiations are possible. I agree that that's a very small likelihood right now, due to the I don't think the Ukrainian people will accept anything close to what Putin needs to declare a victory and say face. And Zelinsky is already promised to put anything to a vote. And I don't see Ukrainians voting for recognizing the independence of the Donbas or Russia's possession, or annexation of Crimea. So at Christmas, let's roll that scenario out. So we have collapse, stalemate, or, you know, yeah, those two, in which scenario. Do you think chemical weapons, his least? Or sorry, most likely?


 

 

 

❝  I agree that that's a very small likelihood right now, due to the I don't think the Ukrainian people will accept anything close to what Putin needs to declare a victory and say face. 

Opinion about the chemical weapon

Glenn Grant  47:32  
For me, chemical weapons and nuclear weapons are most likely if, in a week or 10 days' time, Putin realizes he's not going to have any soldiers to put to the front. And he is where he is. And he hasn't got a general who can actually organize anything better than the mess that Grasim has left him with. Although I'm sure there's going to be one or two, who tell him they can do it. But I'm on a 90% feeling in my water, that any general that tells Putin something is going to tell him he can win the war. He's not going to tell him, Hey, let me withdraw. And we'll hold what we've got, which is still better than we had before. You know, Sue on a new line, including Maria Paul. Maybe Yeah. But so I think that if it looks as though it's going bad, and I think I agree with Yuriy, I think the most probable scenario, nuclear is taking the nuclear war to Europe, not to Ukraine. Yeah, I would sweat if I was in Warsaw. Well, let's talk

Samuel  48:44  
about let's talk about that, Glenn, because we've seen in the last week, I've I have a lot of friends in Poland, team members of my companies who have evacuated to Poland, and the question starts bubbling up. What is the what are the probabilities? What are the risks, and someone called me this week from Poland? And they asked me to give them my best advice on whether they should sell their apartment like they're planning and if they should take an extended vacation. And I'll ask you, what do you think the risks are right now? Because for the collapse of the Russian military to happen, supplies need to not only continue but increase and NATO today is trying to say that they're going to increase the tempo of resupply and there's still a debate about s 300. air defense systems and the MiG fighters. Do you know? What do you think the chances are of an escalation between Russia and Poland at this point?

Glenn Grant  49:47  
I think quite high. After hearing maybe the mid the devs tirade against Poland a couple of days ago. Well, I read it, I didn't hear it.

Samuel  50:00  
Ukrainian article in October.

Glenn Grant  50:02  
No, it's worse. Okay. It's worse. I mean, it's basically saying that they are, you know, they are the scum of the earth and they need to be wiped out and etc. Now, I mean, the indicator that we're not in for a good move is if the Russians close the embassy in Warsaw.

Samuel  50:26  
They were burning papers, this slide is.

Glenn Grant  50:28  
Burning papers, but that may well be linked to the fact that Poland has told them 45 of them need to leave. Yes, so 40 out of probably 140 or something is not going to shake. I don't know how many are in the embassy, but it's not small it will not be a small embassy in Warsaw. Yeah. 45 is not going to close the embassy. But if they do close the embassy as they did in Kyiv, then I think that we must take it seriously that he's going to do something more so. I mean, then then then, of course, you've got the other you know, where I'm living in Riga and Tallinn and, and Vilnius in terms of doing something military, I mean, he hasn't got the capacity to take the so wolky corridor, and close that at the moment. I mean, they're just not good enough, and they don't have enough troops and the Russians wouldn't do it. So that's not going to happen. I mean, there's enough. There is enough quality, quality NATO soldiers there to keep that corridor open whatever happens. But actually, putting putting putting a weapon down on the other capitals, I think is a real possibility. And it doesn't have to be nuclear. I mean, you've seen what the mess they made of. They're made of every camp. Yeah, I mean, if you put the same amount of force down into the center of Riga, or the center of the old town of Tallinn, for example. I mean, that would really that would devastate the country. And, and maybe not so much with, because Vilnius is slightly more spread out in some ways than the others too. But you know, I mean, it could be conventional. It doesn't have to be nuclear, it doesn't have to be chemical. But just attacking them would also bring terror to Europe. And it's, it's got to be considered, you know, it's got to be considered a high probability. I mean, I agree with URI that war is sort of the most probable target because in the last couple of weeks, we haven't heard as much vitriol against the other three Baltic states, but trust me, and the Russian speaking press in the other state, in in the Baltic states. There are lots of things saying, you know, how bad NATO is how bad the USA is, how bad Latvia is. And so it's, they're not giving up on that.

Samuel  53:19  
So Glen, can you comment on Lester's comment here, Prospect Theory grid from Kahneman, when faced with two bad choices go for the highest risk, highest reward choice. Wonder what Lester's talking about there? Would that be?

Glenn Grant  53:35  
Well, I thought Kahneman was a beer. So I'm not going to do that. And in fact

Samuel  53:42  
I'm very, very famous. But

Glenn Grant  53:46  
No, I actually need to bail out because it's time that I went to BBC Scotland and spoke to them. But it's been rather good. And I think we've covered enough ground for this one. Let's hope that next Thursday, we're still talking without having had anything bad or worse. Between now and then. But yes. So thank you for another good evening, everyone.

Samuel  54:10  
And thank you for your chat input. I know. I posted beneath my video on Facebook, Yuri's territorial defense payments, if you want to contribute directly to him. He has 500 plus people in below road guy calls in Yuriy by now I'm sure you.

Glenn Grant  54:32  
I need some money for someone as well. So we're all we're all begging for money anywhere else yet. See you soon. 

Samuel  54:38  
And I shared Glen, your friend who needs on my wall to anyone. Anyone who wants to donate directly to that, please do that. And that's actually I'll just talk about how we're going to help people I see Glenn. We'd have people like Glenn, Yuriy, and David in the future where you can just support them too. directly by seeing what they need. Sorry, not David, David, you could support people directly by choosing people like Glenn's friend who needed 2000 euros, and he could post the story why. And then we're building an app where you can basically see who has needs, and then you can go choose who to fund. And that's really, the main focus of our nonprofit going forward is just to create a direct peer-to-peer giving from people around the world who want to support Ukrainians. Because as I've seen, with my friends, like Yuri, and everyone in the fight, they've all sent their families away. And if they know their families are supported, and they are also getting the money and supplies they need, like you can send the Euro directly on this on this the show through his bank details, then then they're gonna have the resources they need, do not wait for your governments to solve all the issues. You know, for Ukraine, I mean, we see the speed with which NATO is moving is frustratingly slow. Then, you know, the Ukrainians are just getting on with it themselves by going and find in the equipment in the money they need from across the world. They're putting their homes up on Airbnb, and getting donations that way, which Airbnb loves because they get 15%, whatever the heck they take. So so that's how we want to try and solve the problem for people like URI and, and others going forward, Glenn, his friend, Lester, who's on here, offered his house in for people who wanted to stay and we were able to match him with someone who wanted to stay, you know, with free lodging. Because I know a lot of people who need help, and I know a lot of people who want to help. So that's what we're building. So if you've been watching the borderlines. Foundation or the borderlines stories from Ukraine broadcast, that's our main effort here is we're giving information out for people who want to understand what's really going on in Ukraine, from people like Yuriy, who is there. Yuriy says NATO stands for no action talks only, which I think is pretty accurate. And, and that's really what we want to support. So we're putting this out to shine a light on people who are doing great things inside Ukraine. If you know, anyone, especially someone inside Ukraine, or someone who's outside Ukraine who has the expertise that can add to these discussions, whether it's military-like this show or every week, we do political refugee, different things, then please do reach out to us. And also if you want to donate to the Borderlands foundation directly, our entire staff is Ukrainian refugees, that left my tech company after we had to restructure, and they're there to 24/7 support people who need help. So they're helping people who are looking for help. So really appreciate you coming on Dave, again, sharing your thoughts. Things have not moved a lot on the front of the map. So we will actually, I'm lying here. My lovely show assistant has given me a presentation here. So I'm going to upload that in a couple of minutes here. So I'll keep you on Dave. So I know you're right, a great commentator, and Yuriy too. If you have anything on chat, I'll just share this video that we put together with the news of the last 48 hours. So Dave, what else is going on? From your side? You have a lot of Ukrainians in Ohio House. How are your Ukrainian friends who are outside of the country feeling what are they doing to keep themselves sane? In the situation?

 

 

❝  If you've been watching the Borderlines Foundation or the Borderlines Stories from Ukraine broadcast, that's our main effort here is we're giving information out for people who want to understand what's really going on in Ukraine, from people.  

Approximate conclusions of the war between Russia and Ukraine at present

David Simms  58:56  
They're always very proud of their heritage, even before this is right, and you can go back 2020 plus years. They're probably more actual Ukrainian speakers in Northeast Ohio than in Ukraine. Right? Because they've held on to the language. Yeah, to, to the ethnicity to their heritage, and it's really strong and proud up here. It's really they're great people. Ukrainian community up here. Awesome. Very proud of that. They'll say anything, never say anything bad about Ukraine, you're gonna get your ass kicked. So it's been strong before this conflict added before 2014 And it's really just solidifying its unifying a bunch of people you know, around this entire planet who have Ukrainian heritage. And that's just huge. Like Chicago has a huge Ukrainian population as well. Aside from Cleveland, a couple of things I want to hit on Sam, kind of back on the nuclear chemical thing. Right. So Medvedev, Putin, they've all said if provoked, right? There's an existential threat to Russia. This is only the beginning of using nuclear chemical weapons is not off the table. But you got to define an existential threat. Since Putin, since he is Russia, right, since he considers Ukraine part of Russia, any losing in Ukraine is an existential threat to Russia. Yeah, I think that's something that is very, very important that the think from the Russian perspective, losing Ukraine is an existential threat to Russia, therefore, that in the Russian mind in the Putin mind, justifies the use of chemical biological, radiological nuclear weapons. Yep. So yeah, so you know, right there. You have to turn and think, from the Russian perspective, what existential means, right? And how and how they define that not how you define Russia, but how Russian specifically, Putin defines Russia. And that's the important thing there. Yeah, now, the last thing I got and get to this video, cuz it's gonna be great is you got to think on the Ukrainian leadership side, as well, their response to Russia by establishing what the priorities are at the Ukrainian strategic operational-tactical level. So the Russian objective is regime change is key. So that's probably strategic priority number one. So that's the weighted main effort.

Samuel  1:02:06  
So it's just not until

David Simms  1:02:10  
Now for Russia, not for anyone, but we're starting to it's turned back and Ukraine is, you know, establishing some momentum and it's reestablishing a buffer around the Capitol. So obviously, that is the main f that's the weighted main effort for Ukraine So marrying up a little is not going to get as many resources as cable right. And that's and when you're on the receiving end or the not receiving and that's really hard to accept and to come to terms with when you're in a knife fight. So I think about the priorities there and to and the tough decisions that Ukrainian leaders have to make knowing that there there are people dying and risking their lives and you cannot get them the resources they need in the volume and the amount that they needed in because you have to make sure your main effort is properly weighted.

Samuel  1:03:25  
Yeah, well, it's a really tough choice because, on one side, you have everyone who wants to stop the death and suffering of the people affected by it. So that's the reason to pursue negotiating peace. But on the other side, there's an understanding and position of people like Yuri, who says we have to finish this now. Because there will be no peace in the future without a more complete victory. And I think right now, the Ukrainian side is much more on the lines of from a polling perspective, at least in the sentiment that I hear from speaking everyone is what you're thinking, but there's pressure on both sides. And that's what Yeah, so let me go to this arrow here because I'm really.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:16  
Treating them as these is only the beginning of the rail, trying to defeat freedom.

Samuel  1:04:27  
System. First of all, this is really oppressive, that President Alinsky, whose English is not, let's call it perfect, is getting more and more comfortable doing it throughout the war, and what an impact it's having on the relationship fight is.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:42  
This is only the beginning. On the great Russian trying to defeat the freedom of all people in Europe, of all evil in the world. He tries to show that it only grew and grew force matters. tries to show that people do no matter as well as everything else that makes us people. That's the reason we all just sort of rush the World War. I think everyone who acts in support of a brain in support of the war, continuous that alter or against peaceful people go on one month already that long, he breaks my heart, hearts, all Iran's and every free person on the planet. That's why I ask you to stand against the war starting from March 24, exactly one month after the Russian invasion, from this day, and after the show, you're sending come from your offices, your homes, your schools, and universities come in the name of this count with Ukrainian symbols to support grain support freedom to support life, come to your squares, your street, make yourself visible, and say that people who matter freedom matters. This matters. You create maps for March 24 In the downtowns of your cities all as one together who wants to stop the war.

Samuel  1:06:26  
So very, very impressive. The message and framing this as I think what we're starting to see it as this isn't about NATO, this isn't about anything. But Russia feels an existential threat from having its closest, you know, cousin or brother from another mother of a country Ukraine demonstrating a free and fair, a free society. It's not perfect. There's corruption. There have been all kinds of issues, but they have a free press, and they have a free election system. They kick out their president, they overthrow their president and that's something that fundamentally scares Putin and the entire Russian oligarchy and regime and that's what Zelinsky is framing this fight as and I think he's been successful. In the front of what Glenn said, earlier, Poland has actually frozen the Russian Embassy in Warsaw as an account for terrorism financing. So that's another escalation on the diplomatic front, between Poland and Russia. And by the way, the Polish regime, they're not afraid of Russia. The poles are actually their regime is very nationalistic. And they're probably even itching for a fight with Russia, especially seeing how weak Russia is on the battlefield. So I would say that there's a higher chance of escalation every day these things start happening. So, President Solinsky, I don't know if he's already addressed the NATO Summit. I haven't seen that yet. But he was due to speak about it. And I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure we'll share the results of that address on the next show. And he's really advocating mainly for air defense equipment because the planes the fighter plane seems to be for whatever reason, not supported by the United States, which I'm having a hard time understanding because anyway, but now they're really pushing on air defenses themselves. Some Parma, Ohio is 5050 Dave

David Simms  1:08:44  
it's great. Yeah, yeah, Polish village and you have Ukrainian village. It's great. It's a great place to eat.

 

 

❝  The priorities there and to and the tough decisions that Ukrainian leaders have to make knowing that there there are people dying and risking their lives and you cannot get them the resources they need in the volume and the amount that they needed in because you have to make sure your main effort is properly weighted. 

Сrimes of Russian soldiers and a little about Borderland

Samuel  1:08:50  
Yeah, Chicago is the same way. Ukraine believes that Belarus could join the war at any moment. And US and NATO are concurring with that assessment. Probably about 16,000 troops they could muster. But the problem with Belarus even more so than Russia is the society is actively sabotaging their training system. And they're just waiting for an excuse, I believe to rise up and Luke ushanka probably understands that those troops are needed for internal control, or at least them going on to the battlefields can spur some external. Try, you know, an external crisis which will come back into the country a lot of casualties bodybags coming back, will not overwhelm Belarus, which, in which he's not popular at all compared to Putin. So, so this is a very interesting situation to watch, but they would be going for the far western border of Ukraine from the breast down through the border of Poland and Ukraine to try and seal that off and get towards lovey which you heard he knows his family's from or his wife's family's from out there. They don't like Russia or Belarus very much at all. And in that area.

And this is interesting. The battalion commanders, actually, the losses on the generals are getting the headlines, but the colonels and Lieutenant Colonel that are getting killed are actually much more impactful on Russian soldier's morale. I mean, Dave, we know from being in the Army that the only commander you really know is your Lieutenant Colonel and your captain. And they are, in some ways larger than life if you respect them or hate it if you don't, but they're known. And when you lose them, that's a huge blow to the unit's morale. And we didn't lose. I don't think hardly any of them are in Iraq. But that was a different fight. I mean, this is people like to say, well, because they're losing a lot of officers. It's, they're a lot worse than us. But Iraq and Afghanistan are completely different fights. I think. I don't think that's a fair comparison. Completely different flight. Yeah, yeah. And it also speaks to the loss. Yeah.

David Simms  1:11:20  
So since 911, we've lost two general officers in the US. One was on 911. That was Lieutenant General mod because the plane hit the Pentagon and flew right into his office. And then we lost a two-star in Afghanistan, which was really it was green on blue.

Samuel  1:11:39  
Yeah, it was Afghan forces who shot him inside. It was a no-meeting. Yeah. But, again, that was not they're not the Ukrainian army either. And the Ukrainian army is very good on all fronts. It's a very worthy adversary. So I don't, I don't like to pile on the Russians too much for losing officers, although it shows that they're, they're getting serious. You know, hammered on all fronts. I don't think it's as abnormal German army, which was a very good army lost a lot of generals in World War Two, so it's not abnormal. For that to happen in high-intensity conflict.

Russia has still not achieved its superiority out of Ukraine a month into the conflict. There are actually a lot of Ukrainian pilots now getting on news interviews, obviously, not showing their faces or giving their real names. There are some amazing stories coming out of the California National Guard, which trained the Ukrainian Air Force for 29 years since the fall of the Soviet Union. And they're not at all surprised that Ukrainian Air Force is still basically giving the Russian Air Force a run for their money in the skies. And also the air defenses are going a lot better. With continued resupply and senior Administration official said, Any use of a small, tactical new weapon, even inside Ukraine, and not directly, the NATO member would mean that all bets are knighted States and NATO staying out of the war. So one of the big criticisms of the Biden ministration is them saying what they're not going to do, which actually bothers me a lot, too. I think they never should have taken anything off the table. I think that's one of their big mistakes diplomatically in this conflict, although a lot of things they've done well, this is not one of them. And it seems like they're listening and starting to be a lot more ambiguous at least on what they will do in the event of an escalation, which, which hopefully should give President Putin or if not Him, those who have to carry out his orders some pause.

And this is about the situation northwest of Kyiv. This is from Igor Cisco, who is leaking a lot of letters from the FSB. And he said this something to keep a close eye on there now about 12,000 Russian soldiers. This was stated by someone in Russian intelligence, those 3000 are almost surrounded and 4000 are cut off and are in a very unpleasant place. So this could be a major capitulation or catastrophe in terms of casualties or surrendered troops, that it's bubbling northwest of Kyiv. And this is something we spoke about earlier. Chechens are really doing their job as NKVD, as Stalin was have been proud taking a lot of videos to try and pretend like they're fighting on the front but actually probably serving more as rear security shooting at Russian soldiers who try to surrender or desert or escape just a little bit of humor Ukrainian farmer holds a yard sale. And this is something we commented on earlier with the field grade officer losses. Or sorry, the Yeah. Another colonel from the Marines was killed near Mariupol. And Ukraine's making big gains around Kyiv, according to Richard angle from CNBC. And yeah, Yuri brought up something that I think should be mentioned as real Chechens, the ones that are real fighters are actually fighting. On the Ukrainian side, Chechens have been fighting against the Russians on the Eastern Front of Ukraine for almost eight years. And they're actually fighting northwest to Kyiv. And Yuriy has a huge amount of respect for them and their fighting ability. So the ones that are fighting against the Russians.

Unknown Speaker  1:16:23  
Were now me this is how theme here, and we just very interesting, by the way, Mayor said that only verified, but that would show it doesn't resist any operational details. But it's very revealing. This is right here in the center. And then he's Roshan area. Areas are all Washington territory. So you see, just to the north of here, there's a big rush area and to the northeast. Another bunch here is all of these blue spots. These are all areas that have been captured by Ukrainian forces recaptured from Russian territory or promotion troops, just the last 48 hours we many of them, particularly here in this sector over the last 24 hours. And this is the biggest tower offensive they've seen since the start of the war and the most blue they ever had on the map. And then the goal is to get rid of all of these are there have been significant changes.

Samuel  1:17:54  
Right. And according to multiple reports, sorry, Starling terminals from Elon Musk and Tesla, SpaceX is having a big impact on the connectivity on the battlefield and helping drones link back to ground stations with relevant artillery units. And this is something the Russians are really struggling with their own connectivity with their drones. Because Russian airplanes are much less willing to fly over Ukrainian airspace. It's mainly becoming a drone fight drone artillery on both sides. And this is a big problem for Russia. And it's actually a big advantage for Ukrainian drone operators. And you saw that ship that was destroyed for Don's the port today. Ukrainian artillery obviously had some good intelligence and was able to target that or whether it was a missile or whoever shot that Ukraine or Russia has had 70,000 IT specialists leave from Russia. And this is an interesting question about what's going to happen to the emigres who flee Russia you know they're probably not going to be welcome in a lot of places because of their passports but I think a big question for Ukraine in the future is who if any do they offer shelter to when they emerge from this conflict victorious, which could be a big security risk but could also be a huge boon to Ukraine's IT sector. This is just a tragic note from someone in Mariupol kind of a diary. Deema's mom is killed on Ninth March she has died quickly. The houses burned down after Deema I am sorry, I could not save her. I buried mom next to the kindergarten. A map follows and just a map of where she was buried in the city and this is just more and more stories. Coming out of Mariupol it's really a humanitarian war crime catastrophe that needs to be more and more attention needs to be brought to it and we'll work to do that as, as we ca meteorites that in the center of Moscow, an unknown person threw a Molotov cocktail at the Kremlin wall.

So more and more public shot signs of descent in the war in Russia, a woman who escaped Mariupol told me about writing her children's blood tight on their hands, in case they're trapped under rubble when a rocket hits their house, Ukrainian kids, some good video kids can figure out how to play anywhere, I guess. That's Ukrainian Metro. I remember those stairs Well, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Irina Vinod Koba confirms earlier reports that Russians are raping Ukrainian women. She says Russian servicemen killed a civilian man in the Kyiv region, repeatedly raped his wife threaten the child and he's now wanting to actually have a case criminal case file against the soldier. There are going to be more and more obviously documented war crimes. And one of the things about war crimes in the modern age is cell phone footage. And Dave, we never encountered this in the early days of Iraq, but with the current activity in Ukraine, staying and the just prevalence of smartphones in the country. There's going to be huge documentary evidence to pursue after the war during the war after the war, and this is going to become a much bigger focus of international prosecutors. And this is another good reason why Ukrainians are not giving up easily because this is what happens to recruit towns that are occupied is a Russian troop's National Guard troops that are there to pacify cities. Ukrainian journalist recently was released from captivity and as a condition for release she was forced to record a video saying that the Russian forces had saved her life which apparently wasn't true

She's now on our way back to her hometown a British sniper in conflict with a Finnish rifle and this is an amazing story actually a very good video of what's happened with units like URIs, and territorial defense forces this is could actually be a major turning point in the war in the South. This is what this village did. Pretty amazing story.

Unknown Speaker  1:23:29  
Virtually quiet farming community security cameras went into town to turn this bridge beyond a clear.

Unknown Speaker  1:23:50  
Setting blocking roads guiding the Russians into. We use bricks or women in London sandbags. The Russians have never seen the community come together as the invaders below Los Louis. These play a decisive role. Russia denied a chance to see his town to build a bridge

Samuel  1:25:00  
So a pretty amazing story. And actually, I'd encourage you to look that one up on the BBC that ends with a lady telling the story of Russian soldiers treating the wounded in her house and then evacuating. So interesting character. Paul Manafort was removed from a plane at Miami International Airport before it took off for Dubai because he carried a revoked passport. This was the guy who used to work as a political consultant for Viktor Yanukovych and probably ran off with about $100 million worth of Ukrainian government money as a consultant. And he might, I guess, be in a little bit more legal trouble. I'm not sure if it's related to the current conflict, but he had a lot of ties to Russian intelligence, through his Ukrainian contacts that run out after the revolution.

This is some commentary from Rob Lee top Russian military expert. And the casualties that NATO estimates now, are between seven to 15,000 killed and 30 to 40,000. Total, when you factor in killed, wounded deserted, and captured is a significant amount of the current forward combat forces, in fact, 85 to 90,000 troops would have been the combat battalions. And most of the casualties not all are coming from these units. So really, they've sustained possibly as much as 1/3 of their troops are, are killed, wounded, captured missing.

And according to Anders Aslan, it's been a month since Russia's lawn servation. And he's lamenting the fact that a lot of Western governments are trying to get back to business as usual. And that's really something that is something to watch in terms of the unity of Western sanctions and support for Ukraine going forward.

David Simms  1:27:20  
That's interesting because we're not it's not just a Western company. That's actually Renault Nissan, Mitsubishi. Is That's, that's a whole different animal.

Samuel  1:27:33  
Yeah. And this was some tragic news out of Mariupol children who were trying to flee in a humanitarian green corridor were shot on the way out now they're in a sandbag hospital ward. I think this is in zap Russia or somewhere close to the north of Mariupol. We heard about this the other night, and there are indications some Russian soldiers have been taken out of the fight because they got frostbite after not having good cold-weather gear. Just basic things Russian soldiers are struggling with.

and Western intelligence forces are now again affirming what Ukrainians have been saying for a while which is interesting on the casualty figures, it's starting to become more and more of a consensus rather than considered Ukrainian. Let's call it propaganda. Pentagon officials say there are indications Ukraine is now able and willing to take back territory that's been borne out, especially in the last 24 hours. And this is a Russian guy, Russia reacting poorly to Georgian hosts because a lot of Russians have run away to Georgia.

And the six Army Commander General Vladislav, your shop has apparently been dismissed and placed under house arrest. The continued purge of military leaders. This was again the report we saw earlier and Vasiliy Lomachenk.  The boxer refused a lucrative World Champion fight and got much respect from his opponent, George con balsas, who praised his decision and said we'll be ready to fight in the future. And this is footage of the embassy in Warsaw where they're burning documents or some photo. And the Greek foreign minister has been very supportive. In fact, the Greeks maintained a constant and a presence diplomatic presence in Mariupol until 15 March. So it's been really strong support from them and will.

All right, well, Dave, Yuri. Thanks, Jerry. I know your sound and work. But thanks for your participation by chat. And we appreciate all of your input. And finally, Lester, thank you for all of your great comments. We're gonna bring you on the show here soon. We'd love to have you on and great commentary to close the show. So thanks, everyone for joining another episode of Borderlands stories from Ukraine. Please find your way to help whether it's donating to Yuri directly or to the Ukrainian army or finding refugees you want to help. Reach out to us. If you want to help or you need help if you're in Ukraine or you know somebody Ukrainian please get in touch with us. We're here to help. Thank you.

 

 

❝  The things about war crimes in the modern age is cell phone footage. 

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